Friday, December 9, 2011
My Adventures As A Traveling ATR - School #9
This week I found myself in a mid-sized school located in one of the best neighborhoods in Queens. The school is relatively new, has plenty of parking, and a nice Administration. However, I must point out, I never met the Chapter Leader at all. To continue, this school has a diverse student body from the surrounding communities and for many years the school climate was more suburban than urban. However, the school is in the process of experiencing a slow moving tsunami as the school desperately neeeds to fill student slots and face a dwindling source of high achieving students who live in the community.
In the last few years the school has reluctantly accepted an increasing number of students outside the nearby communities because they couldn't compete with the powerhouse large comprehensive high schools in Northeast Queens and has steadily lost ground to these schools and others in attracting the high achieving academic students to the school. Therefore, to keep their student numbers up, the school reluctantly started to accept the lower achieving students from South Queens and even Brooklyn. These lower achieving students brought a more urban culture and attitude to the school and it seems have created a schism in the school environment.
The school has tried to maintain their suburban environment but haven't adjusted well to the less disciplined urban culture brought in by an increasing number of students from Southern Queens. For example this school allows the students to wear hats, hoods, and, dare I say, those thuggish paints down to their knees with the underwear showing. Further, study hall does not require a pass in this school and some of the students spend more time in study hall where they socialize and play cards then they do in class. Finally, the students all carry Ipods, and cellphones and many of the students use then in the classroom with no consequences. Interestingly, the school has to some degree has rubbed off on these students, even the most thuggish are relatively respectful and follow orders. Now if the school can get them to go back to class.
This school has deteriorated over the years but is still a good school.